Utah State Aggies (2-2 SU, 0-4 ATS) vs. BYU Cougars (4-0 SU, 2-2 ATS)
College Football Week 6
Date and Time: Friday, October 3rd, 10:15pm EST
Where: LaVell Edwards Stadium - Provo, UT
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: USU +21/BYU -21
Over/Under Total: 51.5
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Friday, October 3rd, we have a great “mid major” showdown when the Utah State Aggies travel to Provo to take on the BYU Cougars. BYU enters undefeated and a 21 point home favorite. Utah State comes in as the obvious underdog and a 2-2 record. Over the last few years, Utah State has played some high level opponents and in a few cases actually played well. Just a few years back, they nearly defeated the defending national champion, Auburn Tigers, in Jordan Hare Stadium. If Utah State wants to hang around against the Cougars, they are going to need to play a full four quarters. A game with a spread like this is always tough, especially in the prime time. I can see this one going either way… yes I think BYU will win this game and go to 5-0, but will they cover the large spread?
BYU is not only the huge favorite in this game, but they are 4-0 overall and are 2-2 against the spread. In my opinion, BYU is one of the most well coached teams in all of the nation. Bronco Mendenhall has this team playing at a very high level, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The signature win so far on this season for BYU was when they went into Austin and beat the Texas Longhorns by a score of 41-7. Not only have they destroyed the Longhorns, but they have also taken down Virginia and Houston. I have actually heard some experts say that if things work out, they could see BYU making a case to be a Final Four team in the playoff. I am not sure if this is possible, but it would make a good story. Much of the BYU success is because of quarterback, Taysom Hill. Hill not only leads the BYU air attack, but he is also the Cougars leading rusher. So far this season, Hill has totaled over 1,300 yards for the Cougars, and is slowly making his way on many experts Heisman watch. A Heisman Trophy is a little far fetched for Taysom Hill, but I do not see any reason why they cannot finish this season with a 12-0 record. The key to winning this game is just playing like they have all season, but in order to cover this large spread, they will need to play a full game on both sides of the ball. If they can keep the Utah State offense from scoring over 14-20 points, I believe they will blow this game out easily.
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Utah State is a huge underdog, and for a very good reason. They are 2-2 and have yet to win a road game. Statistically, Utah State needs some major help. They are ranked 84th in the nation in passing offense and 81st in the nation in rushing offense. The defensive side of the ball is not much better. The Aggies are ranked 95th in scoring offense and 70th in scoring defense. If Utah State has any desire to win or cover in this game, they are going to need to play better than they have shown so far. The key for Utah State will be to keep the BYU offense from making big plays. Taysom Hill will make plays, we all know that, but if Utah State is to make this a competitive contest, they are going to have to keep those type explosive plays to a minimum. Not only does the Utah State defense have to step up their game, but the offense needs to have enough success to let the defense get rest and not stay on the field.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Games like this and spreads like this always stump me. Of course we know BYU will win, but this is one of those games where BYU can pretty much do whatever they want. If they want to win this game by 40, they will. If they want to go into cruise control and ease into a victory, they will. I am just going to base this pick on one stat for the game: These teams against the spread. BYU is 2-2 against the spread and I think they are on a mission to try and prove that they do belong in the conversation as one of the nation’s top teams. Utah State has yet to cover the spread and have underachieved in every game this season, even the games they have won. I see BYU coming out at home and putting this game away. Utah State is going to have some serious trouble in this game and I see it getting out of hand early. Look for BYU to get a huge 45-10 type win and look for this game to be over and done with by halftime. PICK BYU -21 POINTS!